Thursday, September 3, 2009

Inspiration or Desperation

I'm going to tackle the theme, Inspiration or Desperation, for my first submission to Scientiae, hosted this month by Academic.

I thought I'd discuss a few examples in my life that both inspire and cause me to feel desperate:

1) Running.
I started training for a half marathon in July because I needed some inspiration to keep exercising. This was a truly inspiring experience. I clocked my longest training runs ever and the event itself was very inspiring. So many courageous women runners (it was an all women's race which I realized I haven't blogged about yet). So many encouraging faces on the trails. The first and second place finishers were a 25 and 55 aged woman, with the 55 year old only 2 minuets behind the 25 year old. That is awesome.
Two weeks before the race I injured my knee and was very distraught and feeling desperate to keep training but knowing that rest was the best training at that time.
However, this story turned out to be overall inspiring because race day went great-I could have walked a little less but I met all my goals and am inspired to compete in more races and hopefully will stay inspired to keep exercising even though this goal has been met.

2) Rugby.
I have been able to practice with the best team in the nation and these women inspire me beyond belief. However, I'm only able to practice with them sporadically since they are based in the city I commute to once a week and not the city I live in and due to work and other comitments I will only be able to attend 2 or so games this season. So while I'm so inspired to be surround by amazing women rugby athlets it is a bitter sweet feeling to know that I can't dedicate myself to the team, and I get a desperate feeling to know my rugby career is slowly coming to an end.

3) Work.
Work, unfortunately is a story of desperation. I am still struggling to find inspiration in my new job, an inspiration I lost during my last year of graduate school. It fills like my days are full of desperation. I try to get motivated to work, but then I goof off on-line, then a deadline looms and I freak out and desperately meet the deadline. I start to read a document and my mind drifts to how much I don't know about the subject I'm reading about and how it's fruitless to try and learn these new things because I won't remember them anyway. I keep thinking of things to inspire myself to want to work, because the truth is, if I don't want to I'm just not going to.

3) Life.
Goals. I need some goals. I need to be inspired. My husband and I had a desperate discussion recently about how our life is going nowhere. I'm crapping out on my job and he is having trouble finding a permanent job. In March of 2008 we got inspired living in Post-Doc town and decided to leave there and head back home. We knew life wouldn't be easy but figured we'd get a job eventually and all would work out. It is in a sense, we aren't homeless or going hungry, so life is working out, but we don't see a chance to move up. My husband is distraught that he has a Ph.D. and did post doc work but is in a temp job that someone with a high school diploma could do-and he's not getting any full time job offers. I'm part-time and not even working as much as I should be and so where in this equation of part time workers does a house and a family come into play? He's aware of my lack of inspiration at work and so he tries to inspire me by reminding me of these goals-but unfortunately I haven't been inspired yet.

I feel the main question I have, to myself, to my readers, is "Where does inspiration come from."
I mostly find myself in desperation. As Academic said, Teamwork can equal working together in success, or seen from the other perspective, Teamwork means sharing failures. How to you change your mindset from success to failure, from desperation to inspiration?
Right now I see my professional life as a series of failures-that my husband unfortunately has to share with me. I'm happy with my personal life but as I stated my personal life can only move forward so far if my professional life isn't up to par.

I want to be inspired but should probably realize that inspiration doesn't come from some mystic box and it's not something that one finds deep within one's self during a walkabout. Inspiration is hard, inspiration is something someone finds when they work hard to get out of the desperation that is so easy to fall into.


ScienceGirl said...

So glad you find running inspiring! I think that with time, consistent running has improved how I felt about other parts of my life, and I hope the same happens for you!

Anonymous said...

I think inspiration comes from finding something you love to do, something you feel is worth working for, etc. It comes from living a life that you'll be excited to wake up to everyday. For some people, this can come from a career they really love - some people love research so much that they happily postdoc for a long time until they find a faculty position and even after all that, still adore their work. Others, their job might just be a day job that pays the bills, and they find their true purpose in other stuff, be it cooking for friends, volunteering, etc. It's different for everyone:)

scarabee said...

I don't have answers, because I'm staring down the same tunnel view myself, but I wanted to comment in solidarity, I guess. I hope we can both find some inspiration.

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